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The Oxford American launches its Summit for Ambitious Writers

January 13, 2011 |  1:37 pm

The Oxford American Summit for Ambitious Writers from Oxford American on Vimeo.

The Oxford American Magazine has teamed up with the Winthrop Rockefeller Institute in Arkansas to present the first, and charmingly named, Oxford American Summit for Ambitious Writers. The five-day residential workshop will include Wells Tower and Pico Iyer among its writing faculty.

Private writing workshops like these are a chance for hopeful writers who aren't in MFA programs (or who are and just haven't had enough of workshopping all year long) to get up-close workshop time with writers, many of whom are writing teachers, to focus on their work. They serve as a kind of intensive short-term writing vacation.

Of course, every vacation has a price tag. The Oxford American Summit for Ambitious Writers isn't bad: a  $1,000 fee plus either $750 or $550 for room and board (the cheaper price for writers who double up).

Oxford American editors will be a part of the conference. Fiction faculty members are Kevin Brockmeier ("The Brief History of the Dead"), Tom Franklin ("Crooked Letter, Crooked Letter"), Cristina Henríquez ("The World in Half"), and Wells Tower ("Everything Ravaged, Everything Burned"), all of whom write fiction in long and short form. Nonfiction authors Pico Iyer ("Video Night in Kathmandu"), editor and former Sports Illustrated reporter Jay Jennings and Scott Huler ("On the Grid") will be teaching in their field..

The Winthrop Rockefeller Institute, a full-service conference center that's part of the University of Arkansas, sits high on Petit Jean Mountain. The video above makes it seem like a pretty fantastic place to spend five days writing.

Applications for the Oxford American Summit for Ambitious Writers will officially be accepted starting Jan. 15.


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-- Carolyn Kellogg